Friday, March 15, 2019

Self Help Radio 031519: It Depends

(Original image here.)

You know, I forgot the most famous "depends"-related poem in the English language.  Well, I forgot it while I was doing the show, but I remember it now:

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

When we read that poem in my eleventh grade English class, half of my peers reacted with confusion & disgust.  How is that a poem?  One guy even counted - that's like sixteen words!  He would later be traumatized by haiku.

Now that that's out of the way, & despite the shit we're hearing from New Zealand, here's this week's show, about depending & dependence & stuff like that.  I had hoped to cover more about independence but time ran out.  It's ridiculous how little time two hours is!

The show is now at Self Help Radio dot net.  You'll need a password (selfhelp) & username (SHR) but those are pretty self-evident.  I just told them to you!  The songs I played & the stuff happening on the show are listed below.

Will you dig it?  It depends!

Self Help Radio It Depends Show

"You Can Depend On Me" Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra _1931-1932_
"I'm Depending On You" Otis Redding _The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 1959-1968_
"Dependence" P1/E _Second Offender (1980-1981)_

introduction & definition

"It All Depends On You" Frank Sinatra _The Columbia Years (1943-1952)_
"Depending On You" King Arthur Epps _Soul On Fire (The Detroit Soul Story 1957-1977)_
"Oh Baby, You Can Depend On Me" Luther Ingram _I've Been Here All The Time_
"Chemical Dependency" Bodhitrees _Katie_
"Dependence Leads Your Fortune" Roxy Epoxy & The Rebound _Bandaids On Bullet Holes_

Ned Dry interrupts to talk about his dependents

"Life Depends On Love" Bert Jansch _Nicola_
"My Dreams Depend On You" New Colony Six _Colonization_
"A Love You Can Depend On" Brenda & The Tabulations _A Van McCoy Songbook_
"Depend On Yourself" Joe & Eddie _Walkin' Down The Line_
"Depend On Yourself" B.T. Express _Give Up The Funk: The BT Express Anthology (1974-1982)_

interview with Depends sponsor/advertiser Berry Addington

"(You Can) Depend On Me" The Miracles _The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 1: 1959-1961_
"Don't Depend On Me" The Fantastic Johnny C _The Phil-La Of Soul Singles Collection 1967-1973_
"I Was Depending On You To Be My Jesus" 1000 Violins _Like One Thousand Violins_
"I Don't Depend On You" The Human League A.K.A. The Men _Travelogue_
"Can't Depend" Sebadoh _Defend Yourself_

Marge Most reports

"Why Did I Always Depend On You?" Billie Holiday _Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia (1933-1944)_
"Depend On Me" Joann Garrett _Just A Taste_
"A Girl You Can Depend On" Palace Guard _I'm Losing Tonight! Vol. 7: 30 Moody, Garage-Folkpunk Gems From The Midsixties_
"No One To Depend On" Coke Escovedo _Coke_
"Everything Depends On You" Dub Dickerson _Boppin' In The Dark_

announcement, conclusion, & goodbye

"Declaration Of Independence" Stan Freberg _The United States Of America_
"Declaration Of Independence" Count Five _Psychotic Revelation: The Ultimate Count Five_
"Declaration Of Independence" We The People _Too Much Noise_
"Declaration Of Independence" The Insect Trust _The Insect Trust_
"Independence Blues" The Crowd _Independence Blues_

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Whither It Depends?

(Image from here.)

Oh hey.  Hey!  Over here.  Yeah, it's me.  Self Help Radio is new this week, after a week off.  I bet you kinda hoped it was gone for good, but no such luck!  Not only are we back, we're back with a really dumb theme: it depends.

What the hell does that mean?  Well, it means songs that talk about depending on people or things, & also songs about not depending on anyone, which, you know, is independence.  See?  Told ya!  A dumb theme.

The reason I'm doing this show is sort of stupid, too, & coincidental.  I was in a neighborhood supermarket some time around the beginning of the year & a customer was trying to get an opinion out of an employee, who didn't seem to feel confident enough about the subject matter, which was yogurt.  I myself was standing somewhat near to them, as in this supermarket, the place where the tofu & the tempeh is is next to the yogurt & the butter.  I was buying tofu.  I pretended to browse so I could eavesdrop.

The customer was my age or a little older & he seemed to need to know something about the yogurt in relation to what I believe was a recent development of lactose intolerance.  This he did not come out & say, so perhaps that explained the employee's hesitation to express a solid opinion one way or another, but this manifested in many rounds of a conversation like this:

Customer (holding up a small container of yogurt): "Is this a brand you think is good?"
Employee: "It depends."
Customer: "On what?"
Employee: "On your own preference."

The customer would then pick another brand & ask a similar question, often after poring over the little container.  The employee would wait patiently, & then be noncommittal all over again.

At some point the employee wandered away & (a person who I assumed was) the customer's spouse showed up & asked the customer, "Which one did he think was good?"  The customer said, "I think he liked this one best."

I was amazed.  I was convinced he'd be enraged!  But nope.  I thought, "I need to answer more questions with 'it depends'!"  People mainly want you to validate their own decisions, it seems.

& then of course I thought it might be a good show.  So I came home & started collecting songs.

Will it be a good show?  Let's not press our luck.  Let's just listen tomorrow at noon at Self Help Radio dot net.  I hope you'll listen.  I'm depending on it.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Preface To It Depends: Fucking Facebook

Facebook was down most of the day.  I was able to post my dumb pictures like I do to the Tumblr page (I also post them to my personal Facebook page) but after that, it wouldn't let me post nothing.

Yeah, I saw the double negative.  I did it on purpose!

This was bad for one reason that may not seem obvious, but a thing I do during the week (Sunday through Wednesday) is that I post a Youtube vid of a song on the show's Facebook page that I may or may not play on the show this week.  I don't know if anyone listens or cares but I like to be consistent.  & I couldn't post one today because, right now, I can't post anything to Facebook.  Not just nothing, I can't post anything.

Fucking Facebook!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Hard Times A-Comin'

"Hard Times A-Comin'."  Where did that come from?

Discogs tells me it's the b-side of a single by Earl Richards as demonstrated with photographic proof on the linked page.  (It for some reason won't let me upload the picture & it's just as well I suppose.)

But I haven't heard that single nor that b-side.  Speaking of, the Wikipedia entry about a- & b-sides doesn't let us know just why we refer to them as "a-sides" & "b-sides" although I suppose it makes sense.  Nowadays of course there are digital singles & they don't have sides.  They exist in the dimension of sound.

But back to the title of this post: why would I call it "Hard Times A-Comin'"?  Am I implying something?  Are you inferring something?  Are you one of those people who have a problem distinguishing between the words "imply" & "infer"?  In general, I never did but I did have someone once ask me, "What are you inferring?"  To which I replied, "I don't know, what are you implying?"  He didn't get the joke.

Frankly I'm lucky I didn't get beat up.

But I want to stress that I'm not talking about the country or the world or the economy or the climate or my old age or anything like that, although almost certainly hard times a-comin' for all those things.

Hey, maybe it's a message from my brain!  Do brains do that, send signals that hint at meaning?  Why would brains do that?  Wouldn't they want to be direct?  Brains don't have to be like religious texts or other mythic riddles, they can simply tell you what they want, right?  Or else - is that how we're wired?  To forever deal with ambiguous nonsense because we desperately need to trust our own interpretations?

Wow, that's depressing.  Is it true?  I don't know.  But if so, wow, how (let me reiterate) depressing!

Monday, March 11, 2019


We're watching our neighbor's dog Brinkley for a week.  She went back home, which in her case is New York.  He's a sweet one, not terrible emotionally expressive, but needy.  When the wife left today, he waited by the door for her, not noticing that I was in my room.

But that's not what I was thinking when I thought of "dogsitting."  Like a child, in love with an old joke, I thought about actually sitting on a dog while watching it for its owners.  & because my brain is slightly diseased, it went back to something that disturbed me when I discovered its existence & that my brain wouldn't let me forget about, which is this: facesitting.

Now, I have of course heard the Monty Python ditty & I suppose I thought that song had something to do with the common Happy Days insult but the truth is I hadn't thought about it really at all.  Sit on it?  What?  Why?  Why a face?  That doesn't make any sense!

The Urban Dictionary has a very handy definition of facesitting though, some of which I will share here:

Face sitting is when one person sits on another person's face. Any gender can be the face sitter, & any gender can be the face sit recipient, or face "sittee." The face sitter can wear pants, dress, undergarments, be butt naked, etc.

Continue reading if you want more information, & be aware it's naughty, because facesitting is or ca be a sexual thing.  I did learn something new from this entry, though, which is: Face sitting is used in five main areas: Foreplay, domination, fantasy role play, mischief, or accident.

You may be asking yourself, how did Gary find out about facesitting?  Was it mischief or accident?  It was more than twenty years ago now, I was working part-time at an Austin video store mainly to get free movies, & the place had a porn room.  One small section of the porn room - I guess it was still too prohibitively difficult to watch videos online at that point - was dedicated to fetishes like facesitting.

Anyway, at some point it came to the attention of the owners or the manager that no one ever rented the facesitting videos.  So we wrapped them in plastic & put them up for sale.  & no one bought them.

One late night, a friend came by to take me out after I closed the place up.  He brought another friend, someone I only knew as an acquaintance, & that acquaintance found his way to the porn room.  I was counting money when I heard him exclaim, "Facesitting!  Holy shit!"

He was so excited by the videos - which, I seem to remember, did feature large women sitting on the faces of smaller men - that I told him he could have them.  I was frankly sick of them.  He carried out like the seven or eight facesitting videos like a happy schoolchild carrying the books of his beloved.

What the manager or the owners thought when they found the shelf empty of facesitting videos I don't know.  They didn't say anything to me, & I didn't rearranged the shelf to make it look like videos weren't missing.  Most probably, they forgot they were there at all.

Why does dogsitting make me think of facesitting?  I'm still a little jet-lagged, maybe, or my brain is just not right.  Probably the latter.